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RFK Jr. Fails to Qualify for CNN Debate With Trump and Biden

U.S.RFK Jr. Fails to Qualify for CNN Debate With Trump and Biden

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. failed to qualify for the CNN presidential debate on June 27 by the network’s Thursday deadline, according to the outlet, a significant blow to his independent presidential bid that will deny him a coveted national stage alongside President Biden and former President Donald J. Trump.

Mr. Kennedy in a statement on Thursday called his exclusion from the debate “undemocratic, un-American and cowardly.”

Qualifying for the CNN debate, one of two presidential debates scheduled before Election Day, would have been a plum prize for the Kennedy campaign. More than 73 million people watched the first debate between Mr. Biden and Mr. Trump in 2020, and Mr. Kennedy would have had the opportunity to confront his opponents in front of an extensive national audience.

No third-party or independent presidential candidate has been on the national debate stage since 1992, when the Texas billionaire Ross Perot’s self-funded campaign gained enough momentum to earn him a spot alongside President George Bush and Gov. Bill Clinton of Arkansas in three debates in the final weeks before the election.

Mr. Kennedy’s campaign is organizing a protest outside the network’s New York studios at Hudson Yards on Friday, but he is not planning to attend, according to a campaign spokeswoman.

“Presidents Biden and Trump do not want me on the stage, and CNN illegally agreed to their demand,” Mr. Kennedy said.

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